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Text. Lately the abbots of the Cistercian order in general chapter assembled wisely decided in reference to our warning, that in the future the brethren of that order purchase no property on which tithes are due to the churches, unless it be for the purpose of establishing new monasteries. And if such possessions have been given to them through the pious generosity of the faithful or bought for them for the purpose of founding new monasteries, they may commit their cultivation to others by whom the tithes will be paid to the churches, lest by reason of their privileges the churches be further oppressed. We decree, therefore, that from strange lands or from lands that they may acquire in the future, though they cultivate them with their own hands or at their own expense, they pay the tithes to the churches to which they were formerly paid, unless they make some other arrangement with those churches. We therefore, holding this decree acceptable and accepted, wish it to be extended also to other regulars who enjoy similar privileges, and we ordain that the prelates of the churches be more willing and energetic in punishing evil doers and strive to observe their privileges better and more perfectly.
[Note by Schroeder: By the common law monks as well as laymen were obliged pay tithes from the fruits of their estates. This was the ancient discipline of the Church. The first who absolved monks from the obligation of paying tithes from their landed possessions seems to have been Gregory VII. Later, Paschal II exempted monks and canons regular from the payment of tithes from lands that they cultivated with their own hands. This privilege of Paschal was granted primarily in favor of the Cistercian Order, which in its beginnings was very poor. When later the order became immensely wealthy, especially in landed possessions, this privilege became the fruitful source of conflict between the Cistercian Order and the bishops. Hence it was enacted in this decree that from all strange lands and lands that may be acquired in the future, even if cultivated with their own hands or at their own expense, tfie Cistercians as well as other regulars who enjoy similar privileges, must pay tithes to the churches to which they were formerly paid or make some other arrangement with those churches. Thomassin, Vetus et nova ecclesiae discipline, P. III, lib. 1, cap. 9.]
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